Pastor David Jackson is no stranger to drought, but he has never seen anything like this.

Jackson, who calls himself a "preacher man," lives in drought-ravaged Gilgandra, north of Dubbo in Central New South Wales. He spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay about how this drought is the worst he has experienced.

"It is the driest I've seen it in my lifetime. We're losing a lot of stock. We're losing a lot of top soil with wind erosion. We just need a whole lot of rain and we need it in a hurry."

Jackson has been helping out his rural community for the past four years by delivering and donating hay to desperate farmers. He believes the current drought is a natural cycle rather than climate change.


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Some areas in Australia have been dealing with drought for six years. Mackay asks Jackson how crop farmers survive under such punishing conditions.

"Most farmers cater for probably three or four years of drought by putting away seed, grain, hay - but this has just gone on a lot longer than anybody expected and as a result we are where we are today and the farmers are doing it pretty tough."

The drought is not only causing financial strain says Jackson, who sees "tremendous pressure mentally being put on the farmers."

"Some have walked off their land. Some have been kicked off the land by the banks. Some have taken their lives. They're not coping real good. The mental state isn't good."

Initially urban Australians were unaware of the severity of the situation says Jackson, but due to different organisations raising money to help farmers they are starting to understand how devastating this drought truly is.

Where to get help:
Rural Support Trust: 0800 787 254
Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.